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University of Texas massacre - rarely brought up?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Cesiumsponge, Jan 3, 2013.

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  1. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    I was curious...every time there is a renewed gun debate or a school shooting, the usual topics from all sides come into play. I never really see the University Of Texas massacre come up where Charles Whitman took the lives of 16 people from atop his tower. Eventually he was pinned down by armed civilians and law enforcement, which gave cops the chance to make their way up and ultimately end the confrontation. Seems like a fine example to bring up in a gun debate.

    Is it because it happened in 1966 and not many people are familiar with it? It was deadlier than Columbine.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman

    Wow! Times really were different back then. Chit chat with some strangers with a rifle in your hand, talk about shooting pigeons, and be on your way.
     
  2. BlueBronco

    BlueBronco Member

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    I have seen it come up once in a while. There was movie based on it, although the took some liberties with some of the facts. I think the ban nuts don't like to bring it up because it doesn't fit there talking points.

    They don't bring up Pearl High School (Mississippi 1997) either because an assistant principal kept a terrible situation from becoming a Columbine 2 years before Columbine. There are plenty example of spree shooters being stopped. A saw an FBI report that evaluated 93 spree shootings. It was prior to Aurora and Ct. When uninterrupted, 14+ people were killed on average and many wounded compared to a little over 2 when interrupted. I need to track that thing down. Of course the TX tower guy was interrupted and the body count and wounded was high and was in that report.
     
  3. EBK

    EBK Member

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    Just a wild guess but I would imagine this has something to do with it.

    "Eventually he was pinned down by armed civilians and law enforcement....."
     
  4. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    I was there (on the campus) when this happened. Being familiar with gunfire, I realized immediately what was happening, and left the area and sought cover. Many of the victims were shot in the open, some because they were curious to see what was happening, and exposed themselves. As the picture became clearer, lots of guns materialized from students' dorm rooms and apartments, and people began firing back, pinning Whitman down. The final takedown was by one policeman (Officer Martinez), with a shotgun, and one volunteer civilian, with an M1 carbine.
     
  5. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    If I recall what I read correctly, quite a bit of the return fire came from the marksmanship team.

    Also, Martinez assumed the other man was a police officer. Exchanging bits of info and talking as they worked their way up the stairs, Martinez realized the man wasn't a police officer and deputized him.

    I read Martinez' account and he recalled him saying something to the effect of "let's go, but don't you think I need to be deputized at least?"
     
  6. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Wow AlexanderA, so what was the media and public opinion like immediately following that event? Was it the circus we have today when a tragic, rare event happens?

    Looks like our resident Art Eatman was there too: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=308139
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  7. heeler

    heeler Member

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    As a Texas resident I am quite familiar with it.
    As a teenager I watched it on the news that hot as hell summer afternoon.
    And during that newscast I also saw scores of American citizens with scoped hunting rifles aiding the police in trying to take the deranged Charles out.
    Well one valiant Austin policeman along with one Texas civilian finally did just that....Take him out and end his rain of terror.
     
  8. ol' scratch

    ol' scratch Member

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    They don't talk about it because gun control isn't about public safety.

    Gun control is about gradually chipping away at our rights. That is part of the reason that Fudds bother me so much. They don't seem to understand that. The gun control groups have a playbook and are following examples set in other countries. It is a step program where they take just a piece at a time. There are idiots in the UK who are still screaming for gun control. We have a few things going for us. Number one is the Constitution and not just the second amendment. Number two is that they are tipping their hand a little too much. This is starting to get the Fudds (at least the two I have in my family) to wise up. The third is that the people who came out at least online originally are starting to cool down a little bit and develop a level head concerning this. The funny thing is that our side is just getting warmed up. I really think that the political fall out for the Democrats will be huge concerning this if they get their ban.
     
  9. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    At least one admittedly anti-gun message movie, "Targets", was based on the Charles Whitman, Texas Tower incident. The book "Cult Movies" makes it clear "Targets" was intended to promote gun control and minimize gun owners.

    I recall a TV docudrama recounting of the Texas Tower incident that also went out of its way to denigrate the civilians who responded by shooting back. IIRC a number of them were ROTC and a some of the guns used to pin Whitman down and stop the killing were civilian marksmanship carbines obtained through the NRA.
     
  10. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

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    The main reason I Don' t bring it up is because they found in the Post mortem he had a brain tumor. He unlike the rest had a unknown medical reason for going nuts.

    Just think how far the guys at that Colorado HS had ran into a HS ROTC Rifle Team.
     
  11. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    That's how it ended in the movie "The Deadly Tower" with Kurt Russell, which was pure fiction.

    In reality, Officer Ramiro Martinez fired 6 shots from his revolver and missed with all six, Officer Houston McCoy (who died last week at 72), then killed Whitman with 2 shots from a .12 gauge shotgun. Martinez then grabbed the shotgun and shot Whitman's corpse once and ran down the stairs claiming "I got him"

    A grand jury later ruled Houston McCoy's shooting of Whitman justifiable.
     
  12. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Incident in question does not fit certain talking points so is ignored.
     
  13. Magoo

    Magoo Member

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    My parents were on campus that day. They don't have a lot to add to the story as they hunkered down behind the library through the event.
     
  14. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Officer McCoy's funeral was yesterday. May he rest in peace.
     
  15. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    Another example of violent video games causing violent exacts. Oh, wait...
     
  16. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Damaged goods wreaking havoc. Seems to be a never ending struggle does it not?
     
  17. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    Simple, he used bubba fudd's hunting rifle instead of an "assult" rifle.....plus, an armed citizenery took him out.....chris3
     
  18. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    I have long known about this story, but yes, it doesn't fit talking points of the anti-crowd, so they don't bring it up. We should mention it often. Whether he had a brain tumor or not doesn't matter. He went nuts and started shooting. Armed CIVILIANS kept him pinned down.

    It is interesting that all the armed civilians didn't start shooting each other and a bloodbath didn't ensue. Also the police didn't show up and mistake the armed civilians for the shooter and shoot them. All things the antis say would happen.
     
  19. 89yj

    89yj Member

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    I wasn't alive when it happened so I have no first hand experience.
    But, I do have an old Life Magazine from August 12, 1966 that has an article on Charles Whitman. It seems like they were pointing towards him being a troubled young man with mental health issues. A university psychiatrist is quoted as saying Whitman had visited him and even mentioned "thinking about going up on the tower with a deer rifle and start shooting people". Whitman's father is quoted saying" Those guns aren't to blame for anything".
     
  20. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    AMEN, he passed on the same day as Norman Schwarzkopf, we lost 2 heroes that day. :(
     
  21. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Despite your sarcasm, it is interesting that the armed civilians didn't cause any additional harm (or the cops) given some of the wild shots on the clock tower. No doubt there were shots that completely missed the building.

    As for the police not confusing the civilians for the shooter, it helped that the shooter was identified as being in a very specific, localized location where there were no other civilians. It isn't like when a shooter is reported to be in a mall, in a school, or wandering through the halls of 1 of 2 securities trading companies across the street from one another.

    Yep, Myrick, a commander in the Army Reserves stopped Woodham as he was LEAVING the school, trying to make his escape in his car.
    http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20123633,00.html
     
  22. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    Surely there would be some errant shots, but depending on the trajectory, would have had little chance of hurting anyone. It is a risk assessment always. Will my possibly errant shot be more of a risk than letting some mad man take aim and fire on innocent civilians unabated? That's always the question.

    Logistically, yes, it helped that he was in a well-known, localized spot. However I always disagree with the sentiment that there will be CCWers shooting other CCWers in the midst of an active shooter situation. Or cops shooting the CCWers (although I understand this situation almost happened in the Tuscon shooting, it didn't). Usually the guy ducking under cover and taking aimed shots is the good guy. The guy walking around, shooting indiscriminately is the bad guy.
     
  23. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have been reading the book “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays. Even though this book was written in 1928, what it says about shaping and molding public opinion is timeless.

    Basically, as said earlier, the Whitman shooting does not fit within the agenda of the anti gunners, so the message they use to shape the American consciousness will not have anything positive about armed citizens.

    THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

    Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea or group.

    I highly recommend reading this book, it is available as a PDF here:

    “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays

    http://www.whale.to/b/bernays.pdf
     
  24. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Every year people are injured and killed when guns are fired into the air during 4th of July and New Years, so the "little chance" is still very real and does actually happen, and certainly could have happened in the middle of Austin.
     
  25. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    Hold the phone--isn't that the mission statement of MSNBC? ;)

    TCB
     
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